Friday, January 16, 2015

Saturday Hockey Notes and Thoughts: UMD Battles Back for Tie

Well, that was as advertised. It looked like there was nothing fun at all about playing that game.

My job is awesome, but that was about as much fun as going to the dentist. And no one hit me during the game.

Quick blog because we have a busy day at a youth hockey tournament Saturday. More thoughts on Twitter @bruceciskie.

Western Michigan isn't a flashy team. The Broncos work hard, sell out for their system, and just don't give their opponents much.

And for the first period, UMD didn't get much of anything.

The Broncos used a Dominic Toninato kneeing major to get a 2-0 lead late in the first. Toninato wasn't ejected for the hit. Live action with no replay, I agreed with the call. I'll stand by that. Sad thing it wasn't the dumbest penalty we took on the night.

UMD needs to get back to good discipline. As analyst Lee Davidson pointed out in the postgame, this wasn't a physical enough game for the penalties that were taken. It might have been frustration or something else, but the Bulldogs have to play their game, no matter how difficult it might be to get that going.

I expect UMD to be sharper on Saturday, which will hopefully lead to more pucks to Lukas Hafner, the Western Michigan goalie who played quite well on Friday.

The Bulldogs battled back again after trailing 2-0. Defenseman Brenden Kotyk scored his first career goal in the second period on a short UMD power play, then his point shot was headed in by Justin Crandall to tie the game in the third.

(Yes, headed.)

Kotyk played his best game for UMD. Hopefully there's more of that to come. He was great in all phases, and if he can continue to emerge, it will do a lot to strengthen UMD's defensive depth.

Western's shootout win was buzzkill, but I'm not turning down that point.

That'll be all for now. UMD is third in the PairWise as we shut down for the evening. I don't expect the UAF-UAA game to have a big impact on it.

Again, more thoughts on Twitter as I have time Saturday, so give that a follow if you haven't already.

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